Is belief in government– The State– a religion? Of course it is. Let’s hear it from one of the true believers himself.
But first– this has nothing to do with your religion, and it has nothing to do with whether or not you like the implications of anarchy. Those are separate issues completely. Just evaluate this on its merits and don’t worry about other things for now.
According to outspoken “atheist” activist AronRa (whose videos on science education and evolution I absolutely love!) a religion is “a faith-based belief system, including the notion that some element of self, be it memories or consciousness …a soul, perhaps… continues beyond the death of the physical body; transcends and survives that…”
Belief in the State certainly is “faith-based”. Statists believe, through faith, that something which has no physical existence and never has, nevertheless exists. No one can point to The State and show it to you.
Yes, belief in the State results in buildings being built, people molested due to “laws”, and other physical effects in the real world, but those are no more proof of the existence of the State than churches, inquisitions, martyrs, or charities are proof of the existence of God. People who believe something do things based on that belief. Such is the nature of belief. Beliefs have effects on the behavior of people who believe, even when the belief is in something imaginary.
What about survival beyond death? Statism claims some element of self will continue beyond death if you participate in the system. You can write a constitution or a “law” binding future generations in slavery. You can have a “legacy” that depends on who you were more than what you really did. Thus “Abraham Lincoln saved the Union” as if by magic. Ignore the fact that he started a war that killed multitudes of people, and didn’t actually free anyone from slavery, but extended slavery to encompass everyone in his “United States”. But you, too, can be a part of this eternity. You are told you must “v*te right”, for the children. To give them a world worth living in. In this way you attain some sort of immortality, transcending death with an element of your self. Yes, the law pollution you soil the world with will live beyond your physical existence. That’s not a positive thing.
Belief in The State is a belief system. AronRa says a religion is a system of beliefs which has required beliefs and forbidden beliefs. Such as the required belief that the State is necessary? The forbidden belief that “taxation” is theft? The required belief that democracy somehow differs from mob rule/”might makes right”? Yep. Statism is a system of beliefs, including beliefs which are required and beliefs which are forbidden. But so what? If the required beliefs can be shown to be true, and the forbidden beliefs false, then it’s just an acceptance of reality. Right? So, how valid are those beliefs?
Let’s turn back to AronRa’s own words yet again. A religion is “…the idea of having to believe impossible nonsense for no good reason, and all of the absurdities, atrocities and ridiculous barbaric practices that often are associated with that.”
Impossible nonsense? What impossible nonsense do statists have to believe in? Well, that could be a very long list!
Perhaps their belief that you can delegate a right you don’t have to someone else, and suddenly they have this right which has never existed? That’s the very foundation of government belief.
That you can make something right become wrong, or the other way around, just by writing some magic incantations (“law”).
Is there “good reason” to believe this impossible nonsense, and if so, does that excuse it? I certainly don’t think so. I can’t believe it even if I tried. I can find no good reason to believe it, even when faced with the fact that the believers excuse killing those of us who don’t believe as they do.
Almost no one would dispute that this belief can result in absurdities (shoelaces are machine guns, the wishes of the majority can override the rights of the minority, theft is ethical if you call it something else, plants can be “wrong” to own or consume, that things can be wrong unless licensed, etc.), atrocities and ridiculous barbaric practices (torture by police and the military, murder in the name of “officer safety”, imprisonment, war, pledging allegiance, etc.). Yet statists believe some or all of those… and more. How very religious of them.
They constantly preach that The State can be good, if only the competing religions’ believers can be kept from taking control. They want you to be robbed for their religion; to fund the parts of their religion they like. They believe their religion can save the world, fix the climate, make everyone safe, and change reality when reality is unpleasant. I believe the dangers in relying on their god outweigh any possible benefits.
Beyond that, I don’t believe anyone has a right to impose their religious beliefs on those who don’t share those beliefs, under threat of death– and this is my biggest issue with statists. Because they evidently and enthusiastically DObelieve they have this right.
I believe in one fewer god than most so-called “atheists”. Because they aren’t atheists, they are atelatheists; almost atheists, except for that one pesky god. They believe in the God of The State, and because of this belief, they honor it. I don’t.